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Report by Dr Sriya Iyer on the IEA Roundtable on the Economics of Religion

last modified Jul 27, 2017 10:22 AM

Report on the IEA Roundtable on the Economics of Religion

The International Economic Association Roundtable on the Economics of Religion was held at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge on 10-11 July 2017. Organised by Dr Sriya Iyer, along with Dr Jean-Paul Carvalho (UC Irvine) and Dr Jared Rubin (Chapman), the Roundtable brought together some of the world’s most distinguished economists and other scholars to debate and discuss the role of religion in society today. The conference began with an opening address by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies from the Vatican. The highlight of the conference was a panel discussion on the role of state religion, religious freedoms, institutions and economic growth featuring Robert Barro, Timur Kuran, Tim Besley and Sascha Becker; and a second panel on how religion had shaped the world with Partha Dasgupta, Rachel McCleary, David Maxwell, Larry Iannaccone and Michael McBride. Sessions ranged from exploring economic theory and religion, history and religion, religious giving, and reformations and religious freedoms. Sriya Iyer and Mark Koyama talked about their forthcoming books on the economics of religion in India, and religious freedom and state capacity. Paper presentations also encompassed how personal liberties and religiosity are related, the effects of the Protestant Reformation, and how religion and politics are related today in the US. The quality of discussion to determine what is the kind of religion we need today and how economic research needs to adapt to aid policy-making, was a key aspect of the Roundtable. A contributed volume entitled Advances in the Economics of Religion will be forthcoming under the IEA Series after the Roundtable that will consolidate the many interesting debates and lively discussions. 

Dr. Sriya Iyer, 13/07/2017

Photographs from the IEA Roundtable, Cambridge, 10-11 July 2017

Videos from the IEA Roundtable, Cambridge, 10-11 July 2017

Introductory Address

Panel 1

Panel 2